Château Lanessan: Tasting & Drinking

Château Lanessan is an insider’s wine, one of many hundreds of cru bourgeois names which do not inspire awe in the way that Latour, Petrus or Haut-Brion might, but which still remain of interest even to those drinkers of Bordeaux who are familiar with such grand names. This is because the wines here are, in many vintages, of excellent quality, and they are especially appealing to those looking for something different to the increasingly prevalent slick, glistening, fruit-rich style in which Bordeaux today seems to excel. These are dark, savoury and polished wines, concentrated but savoury rather than sweet, and are for real Bordeaux drinkers, not those whose only concern is the name on the label.

Château Lanessan

Favourites include the 2005 and 2000 vintages, although the 2014 vintage, tasted during the primeurs, is looking promising. One vintage of Château Lanessan with which I haven’t had much success, however, was the 1996, which always seemed beset by cork taint. In fact, of all the bottles I have encountered, not one has been free of this affliction. So avoid this vintage, but otherwise do not be wary of older vintages, as these wines age as you would expect for any Cabernet-dominant left bank wine, regardless of this estate’s ‘lowly’ Haut-Médoc appellation. (26/8/15)

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